Willie Mathebula, who was appointed Treasury's acting chief procurement officer by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, did not make a good impression on the DA during his appearance in Parliament on Wednesday.
His appearance follows a report in City Press that Mathebula (along with Gigaba) is looking at restructuring the office of the chief procurement officer (OCPO). This could lead to the weakening of its powers and to government departments again having the final say over multimillion-rand tenders.
#OCPO Mathebula: Since its inception in 2013 the Office has succeeded in creating "shock in the system", fighting abuse/corruption GD— Gaye Davis (@Gaye_Davis) October 11, 2017
Mathebula discussed the issues around the OCPO, departmental requests for deviation from Treasury tender practice and the nuclear build programme with MPs on the parliamentary standing committee on finance. But according to the DA's David Maynier, he was "poorly prepared, produced a pathetic presentation and was incapable of responding to questions".
#OCPO Maynier asks for details of Eskom's R31,3bn in deviations & why committee questions, incl on nuclear procurement, not answered. GD— Gaye Davis (@Gaye_Davis) October 11, 2017
#OCPO ANC's Derek Hanekom wants more info on deviations & expansions, asks if office can seriously claim success in fighting corruption GD— Gaye Davis (@Gaye_Davis) October 11, 2017
#OCPO Mathebula: Yoh, hey, so many questions! GD— Gaye Davis (@Gaye_Davis) October 11, 2017
"The fear that the OCPO, which is one of the most important institutions in the fight against state capture, has been 'defanged', seems to have been confirmed," Maynier said in a statement.
#OCPO Mathebula's conceded there is a plan to reconsider the work done by the Office's Monitoring & compliance Unit... GD— Gaye Davis (@Gaye_Davis) October 11, 2017
#OCPO Mathebula says info in City Press article incorrect, has never met minister, his deputy as an individual but only as a team GD— Gaye Davis (@Gaye_Davis) October 11, 2017